by Mark Rosenblum
He dreamed about her again last night. How she remained by his side as he ruined his life drinking away his talent, alienating himself from family as his pity party cast off all guests. He missed her, their walks together and the world view that led to his contemplative study of normal life in Strafford park; couples in love, couples fighting, street repair crews sweating in bright sun, waiters gathering tips from sidewalk tables, immigrant vendors pushing carts about the fringes of the square - the visual cues of life's hard times and good times that led to his AA meetings and their course of freedom from false contentment and finally, redemption. Now in control of his destiny once more, he promised to be a better person to himself and others and recognize that the world seldom grants us unconditional love. She was gone - age had run its natural course. When the time was right, he would get himself another dog.
Mark Rosenblum is a New York native who now lives in Southern California (where he misses the taste of real pizza and good deli food). He was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2006 Mindprints Flash Fiction Contest. His writing will appear in the upcoming anthology, Six Sentences, Volume 2.